The Teamsters are lauding the reintroduction of bipartisan pension reform legislation in January that would bolster the solvency of multiemployer pensions covering some 1.5 million Americans that are currently facing an uncertain future.
The Rehabilitation of Multiemployer Pensions Act, offered by Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), was first introduced in Congress in November 2017 by Rep. Neal. A Senate version of the bill, called the Butch Lewis Act, was sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D—Ohio) during the last Congress. The measure has five Democratic and five Republican co-sponsors.
“With the new Congress now seated in Washington, the Teamsters want to let lawmakers know it is time to work together across party lines to secure the hard-earned retirements of retirees and workers,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “These hardworking Americans deserve to receive the benefits they were promised.”
As it stands, there are more than 300 multiemployer plans across the country—including the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund—that are in danger of failing. The Teamsters have been fighting for years for a legislative solution and have worked with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to do so.
The measure would boost financially troubled multiemployer pensions so they don’t fail. It would create a new agency under the U.S. Treasury Department that would sell bonds in the open market to large investors such as financial firms. Those proceeds would then be used to bolster faltering pension plans as part of a 30-year loan program.